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An Insider’s View of Arch Bark

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Arch Bark

The 3rd annual Arch Bark, coming up on October 12, is a festival for dogs and their fans at the Gateway Arch National Park. Presented by Royal Canin, the event features dog-centered activities like dock-diving, an agility course, vendors, and live music and food stands for humans. Gina Wake has been with Gateway Arch Park Foundation since 2016 managing the database of friends and donors. If you've been to a foundation event, you may have met her at the check-in table. Most of our staff members have dogs, and all of us love dogs, but Gina may be our biggest dog lover and Arch Bark is her favorite event.

Gina Wake

Why is Arch Bark, presented by Royal Canin, your favorite Gateway Park Foundation event?
Gina Wake: Gateway Arch National Park is so dog-friendly, and Arch Bark is a great opportunity to show that off - to people who have seen it before, but especially to those who haven't been down here since the renovations were completed. I absolutely love meeting all of the dogs and their people. It's my favorite day of the year!

Why are you the #1 dog fan in the office?
GW: I have two rescued pugs, Vito and Vinny, and I began fostering dogs for local rescue organizations in 2011. I also volunteer at the shelter for local rescue Gateway Pet Guardians every Friday night, giving the dogs lots of love and attention. Pugs are my first love, but my pugs' best friend is actually a "pit bull" named Judy Chicago!

What’s your favorite activity or component at Arch Bark?
GW: My favorite parts of Arch Bark are the dock diving and, leading up the event, the photo contest! Stop by the Gateway Arch Park Foundation tent at Arch Bark to pick up your goodie bag and let me meet your dog!

What’s your favorite thing about the Arch?
GW: I grew up in rural Southern Missouri but have lived in south St. Louis since 2002. I’ve been in awe of the Gateway Arch since first visiting as a child. I still have a photograph of the Arch taken from Laclede's Landing when I was in middle school. I wrote on the back, “I love St. Louis so much. If it had an ocean, I'd live there when I grow up.” Turns out - oceans are overrated and there is nowhere I'd rather live.

Learn more about Arch Bark and register your dog for a goodie bag at